Zico heads to Uzbekistan
Football's Brazilian legend agrees to coach Uzbek club side Bunyodkor.
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2008 12:30 GMT

Zico was persuaded by compatriat Rivaldo to take up the coaching position [GALLO/GETTY]
Former Fenerbahce and Japan coach Zico has agreed terms to take over at Uzbekistan club Bunyodkor.

"There is a verbal agreement with the directors of the club and I am leaving today to sign the contract," Zico said in a statement on his website.

"I prefer to give the other details once I get there."

Brazilian legend

Zico will replace Mirdjalal Kasimov, who accepted an offer to coach Uzbekistan's national team.

Zico spokesman Bruno Neves said that there was a possibility Zico will also be a technical consultant to Kasimov.

Zico will join countrymen Rivaldo and Luizao at Bunyodkor.

Rivaldo influence

Rivaldo, who helped Brazil win the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, was crucial in convincing Zico to accept the offer, Neves said.

"Zico is going mainly because of the influence of Rivaldo," Neves said.

Zico played in the 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cups, and was Brazil's technical coordinator at the 1998 tournament in France.

He failed to reach an agreement with Fenerbahce after leading the club to the quarterfinals of the European Champions League this year.

His name had been linked to possible moves to England's Newcastle and Manchester City, among other clubs.

Bunyodkor will host Iran's Saipa on Wednesday in the second leg of the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League.

The teams drew 2-2 in the first leg in Iran.

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